October 28, 2014
I just found out that yesterday was 'National American Beer Day'. Who knew? Well, in honor of this All- American day I thought I would post some photos of the organic hops that I grew in my garden for my cousin John to use in his delicious homemade brews!
I had forgotten what type of hops that I had planted, but my cousin said they are called, 'Cascade'.
The plants were gorgeous and they grew all over a trellis my husband built creating a beautiful hops tunnel.
I was stalking a local hops grower to see when he picked his hops because I didn't know exactly what the correct peak picking time was. The first year I grew them I waited too long and then Hurricane Sandy blew them all over the neighborhood.
Here are images of my hops drying process in my food dehydrator then all packed up to ship to John and his brewing partner Mandy.
Here is John (wearing my Grandfathers lucky cowboy hat!) and Mandy creating their brews. They created a pumpkin spice beer and a coffee stout using my hops in both as a finishing hop at the end of the final boil.
Mandy and John with their delicious masterpieces! Their brewery is called Hyland Dawn Brewing. Fun!
March 09, 2013
I am sitting here in my studio looking out over my snow covered garden and dreaming of spring. A few years ago my husband Tommy and I bought a house with a nice piece of property and I began to create gardens throughout the backyard. As you can imagine, I love to be outside gardening and creating beauty in my environment. For me being in the garden is meditative and peaceful. As soon as the weather breaks I am outside doing spring clean up and starting to work the soil. Last year the winter was so mild I actually had the spring crops planted the end of February. This year is a much different story! My garden is a working kitchen garden, I plant vegetables, flowers and herbs all together informally which I absolutely love to look at.
The garden, the vegetables anyway, has been moved to the front yard in recent years. We now have an edible landscape. The two main reasons for this are in the photo below. Their names are Johnny Utah, the thief with the tomato, and his lawyer, Blue. I never actually saw a ripe tomato when the garden was in the back and wondered why. Some other missing garden elements were strawberries, zucchini, and these scoundrels actually figured out how to pick the carrots! Needless to say, I had to move the garden.
My brother Chris came over and removed all the grass off the front lawn and I made paths that I covered with two truckloads of wood chips. We are organic gardeners, absolutely no pesticides or chemical fertilizers are used. I had compost delivered and I worked it into this beautiful fluffy organic rich soil. I actually have a worm farm too that creates organic compost, but I will save that story for a future post.
Occasionally the thieves help me in the garden if they are on their best behavior.
These images are from the end of last summer, when the garden was full and lush. The trellis is a new element that Tommy made which I love. I covered it with clematis vines, peas, morning glories and hops. My cousin brews beer and I wanted to give him an organic crop of hops for a custom brew. Didn't pick them in time though and Hurricane Sandy blew them away...
Today I will read my heirloom seed packets with a cup of tea and patiently wait for the snow to melt so I can get out and get my hands in the soil again. Looking forward to another great growing season.